Fam­ily Ties

Cel­e­brat­ing the 50th an­niver­sary of Cue, manag­ing di­rec­tor Rod Le­vis charts the rise of a com­pany that’s at the top of the Aus­tralian re­tail mar­ket.

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How im­por­tant are fam­ily val­ues to the busi­ness of Cue? This 50-year mark is a real credit to the team. Our com­pany is built on fam­ily val­ues, and even though my son (ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor Justin Le­vis) and my daugh­ter (ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor Me­lanie Le­vis) are both work­ing in the busi­ness, the full fam­ily ex­tends to more than 150 core peo­ple who di­rectly con­trib­ute to the com­pany’s suc­cess. There’s a mu­tual care that sig­ni­fies a feel­ing of real con­nec­tion, true ca­ma­raderie and well­be­ing. It’s the fam­ily val­ues that helped us get to the stage where we can say we’re proud to cel­e­brate our com­pany’s 50th an­niver­sary.

How has the brand been able to re­main at the fore­front of in­no­va­tion? We fol­low and pre-empt the con­sumer de­mand by un­der­stand­ing the need for tech­nol­ogy and con­stant in­no­va­tion in the fash­ion in­dus­try. So we’re not con­tained or con­fined to any par­tic­u­lar ap­proach. We, as a min­i­mum, are al­ways aligned, if not ahead, of con­sumers’ ex­pec­ta­tions. We were the first in the world to launch After­pay in store, as well as the first Aus­tralian fash­ion brand to of­fer Ali­pay and WeChat Pay. We also have 30-minute click-and-col­lect and even three-hour de­liv­ery from the ma­jor­ity of stores around Aus­tralia. It’s all about un­der­stand­ing the con­sumer de­mand and it’s the same way we ap­proach fash­ion and our re­tail ex­pe­ri­ence as a whole. We’re al­ways on the cut­ting edge, and although it might not mean that much to peo­ple at the time, it does give the con­sumer the ab­so­lute best ex­pe­ri­ence pos­si­ble.

What’s next for the fu­ture of Cue? We’re al­ways look­ing to evolve. The com­pany has the in­ge­nu­ity to move for­ward and we are a fam­ily busi­ness, so we don’t have the bu­reau­cracy to deal with or big boards that sti­fle our cre­ativ­ity. We can do small runs to ex­per­i­ment, so we can al­ways be on the pulse of what the con­sumer wants. We have gone for­ward with so many dif­fer­ent ini­tia­tives in the last two years, it’s all changed, and so most of the in­no­va­tion is on­line. And with the open­ing of new stores, our fu­ture is very in­ter­est­ing. The tech­nol­ogy is only there if it’s pur­su­ing the cus­tomers’ in­ter­est. We’re very lucky that all three brands, Cue, Dion Lee and Veronika Maine, are all still very much ahead of the game.

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